Don’t Get Screwed on Your Home Inspection

Electrical problems can cause serious ramifications, so make sure the inspector checks the wiring.


Tips on what to ask and what to look for when it’s time to inspect your potential new home.

All too often, it’s the shiny features that pull us into a home: granite countertops and gleaming new appliances in the kitchen. Oh, and a walk-in shower highlighting beautiful mosaic tiles in the master bathroom.

But don’t fall in love too fast.

There’s more to a house than what first meets the eye. You don’t want to be stuck living in a money pit when you thought you were buying something move-in ready.

But how are you supposed to know if a house has foundation problems? Or faulty wiring? Defective piping? What about hidden problems you haven’t even considered?

Two words: home inspection.

It’s imperative that you get the house inspected as soon as you sign the purchase agreement, no matter if you’re buying a fixer-upper or brand-new digs. (Before you sign the contract, make sure the final purchase is contingent on the inspection findings.)

Case in point: I actually bought my last property from a housing inspector. But I hired my own inspector anyway. My inspector verified that the house was in as good a condition as any he’s inspected. It was worth every penny to have that peace of mind — especially after having just sold a money-pit home myself.

How do you find a good inspector?

When you hire a housing inspector, you also need to ensure that the inspector isn’t cutting corners, signing off on a job not well done.

Bruce Ailion, an Atlanta real estate agent and attorney, says homebuyers should be able to get a good recommendation from their agent: “I always recommend three inspection companies and ask the buyer to interview and review each and make a choice.”